Monday, April 29, 2013

I Go Through the Motions of Being a Follower of Christ...

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.  Praising God, and having favour with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  Acts, Chapter 2, verses 44-47.

It’s difficult for me to imagine such total dedication to sharing the Word of God.  That would mean selling my house and giving the money to someone else.  That would mean not having a TV, VCR, furniture, bank account, etc.  Every aspect of my life would be focused on delivering the message of Salvation to others.  It makes me realize what a worldly life I still am leading even though I go through the motions of being a follower of Christ.
When it’s difficult to give up worldly possessions, it seems like they possess your soul!  Definitely something I need to work on, especially since I’m thinking about getting a new computer while I’m editing this rather than focusing on the message that this has for me.  Boy, do I ever need to get my priorities straight!

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

How would you share your faith with someone who doubts Scripture?
Thanks for clicking on comments below to share. Debbie



This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

God Gives Us a Choice...

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other Words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  Acts, Chapter 2, verses 36-43.

Jesus didn’t want the apostles or us to sit back on our laurels after He ascended into heaven.  He wants us to take an active stand in sharing so that others have Salvation through Jesus, as well.  I’m ashamed to say that I tend to work on this when the situation feels safe and comfortable.
This isn’t the Army where the drill sergeant comes up to the new recruits in line saying, “Johnson, Scott and Harris, you have just volunteered for K.P. Duty.”  God gives us a choice.  After Jesus gave His Life for me, I want to be a much better example than I have been in the past.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.



This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Think Christians Are Like the Gears and Mechanisms of the Watch...

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.)  And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  Ephesians, Chapter 4, verses 7-13.

This makes me think about a watch with its back taken off.  There are all kinds of mechanisms and gears in a watch.  Each gear and mechanism looks a little different from each other and does something a little different, but all the gears and mechanisms of the watch work together with one ultimate goal.
I think Christians are like the gears and mechanisms of the watch.  We all have different gifts and abilities, but should all have the one unifying and ultimate goal of being the examples God wants us to be.  We might all do this in different ways.  Some might go door to door sharing their love for Jesus, while someone else does this by asking a friend to go to church with them.  Some accomplish this by giving their money, their time or their talents to do God’s work.  Still others do God’s work through being a good example of how Christ works in their life.
Hopefully all, regardless of their gifts, take the time to pray for those who don’t know Christ in their lives, since they all have the same ultimate and unifying goal.
Here is a related passage:
*As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.  1 Peter, Chapter 4, verses 10-11.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Our Faith in God Gives Us a Lot of Freedom...

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  Galatians, Chapter 5, verse 13.

Our faith in God gives us a lot of freedom.  I know I don’t have to worry about my kids starving because I know that God will provide food for my family since He says so in the Bible.  Realizing things like this has freed up my life so much that it’s difficult to explain.
Recognizing this, we have some choices.  We could say, “Well, I know that God won’t let us starve, so I could take the money I used to set aside from the budget for food and go out drinking with my friends who have been asking me for some time.  In the past, I had told them no because I couldn’t afford it.  Now, I can go out and party with them because God will make sure the kids don’t go hungry.”  I’m not sure that God would be pleased with this decision.
It’s a choice that God gives us.  Instead, I could say, “Since I don’t have to spend so much time worrying about my family having enough to eat the way I used to, I can spend my extra time helping the elderly neighbor across the street by cleaning her house or watering her plants.”

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

God Had Witnesses to This Special Occasion!

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?  Acts, Chapter 2, verses 1-8.

The gift of the Holy Spirit makes a Grand entrance!  God didn’t want this to go unnoticed or He would have just given this gift subtly to the disciples.  He wanted people to know that this is a gift from God so He had witnesses to this special occasion!
It tells about how the Holy Spirit came down and gave the disciples and other followers the ability to talk to different nationalities and cultures of people in their native tongue.  Otherwise the disciples and followers of God would not be able to minister to anyone other than those who could understand the disciple’s language.
Whether people still talk in tongues or whether it was just during the time of the disciples isn’t exactly clear to me, at this point.  I just know that the disciples and followers did then in order to be able to preach to everyone.  God didn’t want anyone excluded from the opportunity to hear His Word.
There is a lot of controversy about talking in tongues, but I don’t have to get involved in disputes on that topic.  It doesn’t say in the Bible that a requirement for Salvation is to believe in Jesus and to talk in tongues.  It just says that we are supposed to believe in Jesus as our Savior and to try to lead our lives as an example for Him.  So, I don’t have to know all the answers in order to have Salvation.  If God wants me to know this, He’ll show me what He wants me to know, when He wants me to know it.  You can read more about this in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 to make up your own mind on this matter which is definitely preferable to someone else telling you what to believe.  God does have suggestions for these gifts so that they don’t alienate visitors.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.




This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

To Be Shared Unto the Uttermost Part of the Earth

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.  Acts, Chapter 1, verses 8-11.

The last thing Jesus said to His disciples as He ascends into heaven is extremely significant.  Jesus tells them to let others know what He had done to provide Salvation for everyone, not just for a specific country, nationality or race but it is to be shared,“unto the uttermost part of the earth.”


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

 

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

God Wants Us to Be Followers Out of Blind Faith and Love

When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.  Acts, Chapter 1, verses 6-7.

Although this isn’t really what this passage is about, it reminds me of when one of my grandsons was younger and we would ask him if he wanted to spend the day with us.  He wanted to know what we were going to do before he would commit to coming with us.
I don’t think it’s positive for us to foster the attitude that if we do something exciting enough, then he will grace us with his presence.  Out of stubbornness, I didn’t tell him what we were doing before he made his decision.  If he decided to go with us, he could do all the interesting things that we were going to do.  If not, that was okay too, because he has the ability to make his own choices.
Well, I think that God works in much the same way.  God doesn’t give us the dates of the major events of the world.  Or else we might reply, “Well, if I know what’s in it for me first, God, and I think it’s to my advantage, then I will consider being Your follower.”  God wants us to be His followers out of blind faith and love.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

 How would you share your faith with others to help them regain balance in their lives?
Thanks for clicking on comments below to share. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Opportunity of Growing in Christ

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their Word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me, And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One.  John, Chapter 17, verses 20-22.

I have been trying to go back through my feeble brain to remember what this reminds me of.  Well, I have finally figured it out.  There is a portion of my daily prayer which is, “Dear God, please dwell with us and in us now and always, and please have us dwell with You and in You now and always.”  That’s what it reminds me of!
The significance of this prayer is that our relationship with God is of no importance if it’s only one-sided.  We can ask God to dwell with us and in us, but if we choose not to act on that, we are lost.  If we dwell with Him and in Him, as well, we are united and open to the opportunity of growing in Christ.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.




This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jesus Has Conquered the World...

Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.  These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John, Chapter 16, verses 32-33.

Jesus knows of the terrible travesty of justice that is about to befall Him, and yet He takes the time to reassure His disciples (and us.)  This passage gives me so much hope, even when worldly things seem to get me down.  Jesus has conquered the world, so it can’t ever get the best of me as long as I continue to focus on Him.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


What is your favorite Bible passage to share with someone who has concerns for our world leaders?



This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

God Will Be There With Us...

And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing.  Verily, verily, I say unto you.  Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you.  John, Chapter 16, verse 23.

There have been times in my life when I have had situations larger than my plate could handle.  Fortunately, God answered my prayer by providing friends and family who would support me in ways that defy explanation.  I am truly blessed!

NOTE: In the situations mentioned, when I prayed, I couldn't ask God to have such and such happen, just the way I wanted Him to resolve things.We don't always get everything we ask of God. Some of the things we ask for aren't what's best for us. Some of the things we ask for aren't what are in God's plan, because He always knows the Big Picture. The thing that is significant to know, that no matter how bad things might get, God is there with us and will get us through whatever is going on...if we let Him.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nicer Thing to Share with Expectant Mothers...

A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.  John, Chapter 16, verse 21.

My mother told me something like this when I was expecting my daughter.  I was somewhat apprehensive since this was my first child.  Ever since then, I share this with other expectant mothers who tend to be overwhelmed by all the delivery-room horror stories that their supposed friends and co-workers share with them.
I have never figured out why women do this to each other.  You would think that if they had been scared by the delivery stories that other people had told them, they wouldn’t want to do this to their friends.  I have continued to see women do this over the years and in different parts of the country.  It’s almost like some female bonding ritual, where mothers get to see if the expectant mother is worthy of her newborn child by living through all the delivery-room horror stories shared with them.
My mother told me that God made childbirth very special.  Although there is some pain involved, it’s only for a little while and your focus is on having your new child born healthy.  The pain tends to pale in comparison to the anticipation of having a happy, healthy child.
She reminded me of scars I had as a youngster.  I can remember that the original cut hurt, but I can’t actually feel the pain associated with those scars anymore.  She told me that God made childbirth pain in much the same way since people wouldn’t continue to have children if they held onto the pain.
My mother said the pain experienced disappears from your focus once you have your new child in your arms.  Now, I think this is a much nicer thing to share with expectant mothers than the other delivery-room stories that I mentioned, and it’s nice there is Scripture to back it up.

Since this is an example of how I've applied this Bible passage to my life, it does not necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

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